0022: My Visual Studio add-ins: quick review
This time there is almost no gap between this post and last one 😉 In fact, I’ve just finished writing last one and started this. I think that I will post them separated, but I want to exploit my willingness to write and as long as I want to post, I will do this 🙂
“Today” I’d like to introduce two nice gadgets that help programmers to code much easier.
First of them, smaller one is little add-in that consists of only few options. It is a free stuff that you can download from this site. When you will check that address you will get all necessary information about this gadget, and here I only describe which function are interesting (in my opinion).
On the screen below (No.1) you can see my Visual Studio 2008 with SlickEdit installed. Red rectangles indicate points of interest – features provided by this tool. Rectangle No.1 borders SlickEdit menu. As you can see it’s pretty simple and consists only of 4 features, one shortcut to configuration panel and about window. To be honest I use only SLOC Report here (depicted on the second screen). This feature counts lines of code, comment and whitespace in selected project. To do the count you only need to right-click on the desired project/file and pick the last option from the context menu (Count Lines of Code), as you can see on the screen No.2.
Second option, Command Spy shows what keys are binded to the action that you do at the moment. For example, if I choose from the context menu option “Build Solution, Command Spy shows me something similar to the screen No.3:
As you can see, Command Spy window is a simple table with four columns. What is interested here, that you can see that Build Solution action may be called by pressing Ctrl+Shift+B. This may be nice feature for the beginner, but after quite short time you remember shortcuts to the most frequent actions, so Command Spy is rather useless hereafter.
Data Object Analyzer is rather useless for me in 99% of my worktime. It shows clipboard contain and do a simple analyze of it. Honestly, I have never used it.
Last, but not least – File Explorer which is quite useful – it’s a replacement for internal Visual Studio file explorer used to, e.g. opening solution, project, file, etc. Since it has Windows Explorer style GUI it’s a lot better than simple OpenFileDialog built into VS.
Features above are “Active”. It means that you have to open it in order to use. “Passive” features like:
- Line ruler (screen No.1, rectangle No.3)
- Indentation guide (screen No.1, rectangle No.4)
- Editor Graphic (screen No.1, rectangle No.2)
Are the best tools in this package. Especially EditorGraphic that allows programmer to place desired graphic on the code panel (I have Lion II battleship from the Navy Field game). Try this at work and enjoy colleagues’ gazes 🙂
To resume, SlickEdit is small, light, free and nice tool. Even if not all of its features are equally useful, it’s worth to get it.
This is huge one. I use only XPress version which is free, but even with this I can imagine how powerful full version is. I could describe SlickEdit gadgets feature by feature, but in this case it could take a week to do this. I don’t have a whole week to spend, so please watch these videos (especially this one) and install Coderush Xpress – after few weeks you won’t be able to work without it 🙂
I can only add that after installing this tool the best thing is to print this document:
and keep it next to the monitor for the first few days/weeks.
That’s all for now, best regards